Growing up I spent a lot of my youth running from my parents car to my grandmother's door as fast as my uncooridnated spindly legs could move. To enter my grandmother's property you had to swing open a whiny metal gate, broken and battered from too many swings. As you took your first step, you had to duck your head should you poke an eye with a heavy, hanging apricot.
Her apricots were always the best; you hardly ever sunk your teeth into a bad one. I have found that when purchasing an apricot, as Larry said, there is a high chance that it will either be too acidic, too bruised, too something. I am fickle when it comes to eating apricots fresh - they have to be just right. I wolf them down once they are dried, but I prefer to cook them fresh to improve their flavour.
This recipe was intriguing - few ingredients, and an odd combination at that.
prep time: 5mins.
cooking time: 45mins (includes cooling time).
taste: 4.5/5. This is like rain in Summer for your taste buds. The first sensation is the cool, voluptuous cream that envelopes everything with a cloud-like comfort. I used less as I thought it would be too obnoxious but I would definitely use the amount listed next time as it was oddly my favourite part.
I was cautious with the pepper, as my husband and I are pepper/chilli intolerant. The pepper is mild, I used two grinds to dust the fluffy cream of each glass (and also four twists into the whole fruit compote), which perhaps was too little as only once did I detect it's zest.
The marshmallow cream occasionally parted and I tasted the intense, tart apricot with the juicy Granny smith apple. Along with the sour was the citrus punch from the lime, all combined to make an incredibly tart fruity medly. The apricots also gave their distinct sweetness with their soft, spongy flesh that helped to subdue the firmer acidic apple (you could use a sweeter apple but I prefer the tart Granny Smith.)
I used slightly less sugar (74g raw sugar) and it was just the right amount of sweetness for me, as I wanted this to be a refreshing, palate cleansing dessert which it was.
The cream really is necessary for this to work, as the fruits would be too strong and abrupt if eaten without the soft cream.
I had to add a couple of tablespoons of water to get the fruit to become soft and a liquid to form, as it was just sticking to the pan without the extra liquid.
My husband didn't like it as much as me, it found it too 'fruity' but I thoroughly enjoyed its simple complexity and freshness.
would I make it again: Yes. Although hubby didn't rate it too highly (3/5) I enjoyed it and find it a simpler, healthier alternative to most desserts.
recipe: Peppered apricot & apple